Why I’m excited about the upcoming Canon 7D

8689636.jpgOkay, it’s still a rumor, the magic press conference isn’t supposed to happen until Sep/1 but from what we’ve seen popping up here and there, the 7D seems to be a real possibility.

At the same time I see a lot of “What? No full frame??!” popping up on various sources. But if you detach yourself from the thought that this has to be a Canon 5D Mk II replacement (too early!) and if you take into account the current economy (Photographers looking at alternatives to the big bodies), and if take apart the alleged key specs of that camera, things start to become a bit more interesting.

Rumor 1: 18MP APS-C

Aaaah, lots of pixels (but not quite 21MP as the 5D MkII) and a 1.6 crop sensor. Makes sense to not pack 21 million pixels on a smaller sensor. I expect the pixel density to be similar to that of the 5D Mk II and they’ve got that covered pretty well. Why is the 1.6 crop sensor good? Because it serves a bunch of different crowds. A 1.6 crop will give you more performance in the telephoto range. A 300mm lens will behave as if it was 480mm long. Wildlife anyone? Or sports? And the big ISO range of up to 3200 (or even up to 6400 and 12800, even though I don’t expect that to be too usable) is going to allow those long (and not too bright) lenses to be used in more situations. Also imagine the wedding photographer who will have to switch back and forth between wide angle and telephoto a lot. Back in the day of film they simply had two bodies, one with a telephoto lens and one with a wide angle and all was good. If you already own a 5D or a 5D Mk II that you use more in the wide angle range, the 7D will make an ideal companion for it. It’s not too heavy to carry around (I expect the form factor to be similar to that of the 5D Mk II) and you can use it to squeeze quite a bit more focal length out of your long lenses.

Rumor 2: Dual DIGIC 4

Yess. Faster processing. If we can believe the rumors, this will allow for 8 frames per second. If you’re a sports shooter, this will make you happy. Especially as you won’t have to shell out as big as you would’ve had to pay for a 1D MkIII, which admittedly is even faster, but will most likely still be way more expensive too.

Rumor 3: 19 cross AF sensors

19 cross type sensors means more effective Servo AF, e.g. better tracking of moving targets. Sports photography anyone?

If any of those rumors are true, I believe Canon will have a very exciting camera in their portfolio that has a lot to offer to a lot of people. Let’s wait and see what Sep/1 will actually bring.

(Rumored specs and pic via canonrumors.com)

Update: typos fixed

Author: Chris Marquardt

Chris Marquardt is an educator and podcaster. He wrote Wide-Angle Photography and is the co-author of The Film Photography Handbook and Absolut analog. He's the host of this podcast and a few others. Chris teaches photography all over the world. He is a regular on the TWiT Network.